The President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (the "OCCP") has published a report on the market for retail sales of drugs. The aim of this report is to analyse the pharmacy market in Poland (inter alia in terms of the characteristics of the distribution channels of drugs), as well as to analyse the legal regulations from the perspective of competition law. The structure of the pharmacy market in the Kujawsko-Pomorskie voivodeship was also comprehensively analysed. In the course of the market investigation, the OCCP gathered information and data from over 400 entrepreneurs - pharmacies.
The following conclusions may be drawn from the report:
- In the view of the OCCP, the Polish legislation governing the pharmacy sector does not deviate from the standards adopted in some other countries within the European Union;
- The OCCP noticed an increase in the number of pharmacies in Poland, as well as an increase in the concentration on the market, which was due to the activities of the pharmacies' networks (the OCCP did not exclude the potential existence of a dominant position in some markets);
- The OCCP defined the retail market for sales of drugs (pharmaceutical products) in geographic terms. In the view of the OCCP, the market should be considered as local and is limited to a radius of approximately 1 km from the location of a given pharmacy;
- In the view of the OCCP, a recently enacted amendment to the Pharmaceutical Act may help to reduce the problem of a lack of drugs on the Polish market, which is a consequence of the uncontrolled export of drugs (parallel exports) from Poland.
The OCCP's report is a valuable source of information on the structure of the market for retail sales of drugs. One should keep this report in mind when making strategic decisions about expanding the scope and scale of operations on the market for retail sales of drugs, in particular when conducting a competitive analysis of planned transactions.